Karlsruhe – Think-tank with lifestyle

What the city has to offer, why the pyramid is its trademark, and why Karlsruhe is described as ‘fan-shaped’. A city portrait. Karlsruhe – a large European city situated between the Black Forest and the Rhine. Once Baden's royal residence and regional capital, today it is often referred to as the ‘seat of justice’ by virtue of it being home to the highest German courts: the Federal Constitutional Court and the Federal Supreme Court. The so-called 'city of green' has roughly 300,000 residents, a quarter of its surface area covered by forests. These stretch just as much into the very heart of the city as the municipal zoo does, its main entrance located directly in front of the main railway station. Now integrated into the trans-European railway network (TEN), the French high-speed train TGV has been running between Karlsruhe and Paris since June 2007, cutting the journey time to approximately three hours.

In contrast to many other cities, Karlsruhe's Congress Centre and the impressive Civic Hall, both venues for numerous conferences and exhibitions, are conveniently located with easy access to all transport connections. Karlsruhe's new Trade Fair and Exhibition Centre on the outskirts of the city opened in 2003, providing an area of 50,000 m² for exhibitions and a multipurpose hall. The 'Europahalle' and the 'Wildpark' stadium, set to be converted to a venue purely for football events, form the bedrock of Karlsruhe's standing as a sports city on the European and international stage.

Art, culture, and the ZKM

In the city that Margrave Karl Wilhelm of Baden-Durlach founded in 1715, art and culturehave retained their traditionally high status to the present day. This good reputation is fostered by the Badisches Staatstheater, a multitude of private theatres, the State Academy of Fine Arts, the University of Music, the Staatliche Kunsthalle, the Badischer Kunstverein, as well as other institutions from all areas of art and culture. The Center for Art and Media has secured Karlsruhe a very special place in international cultural circles. Europe's largest production facility for media art and the world's first media museum has been housed in a listed, 312 m long former factory building since 1997. Immediate neighbours in this imposing cavernous building with a total of ten light-wells Karlsruhe Press and Information Office, Phone 0721/133-1300, are the Städtische Galerie with art treasures ranging from Hans Thoma to Markus Lüpertz, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, displaying numerous works of contemporary art from Andy Warhol to Sylvie Fleury. The Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design also moved into two light-wells inside the building in January 2001.

A pyramid as its landmark

Two motives are of particular appeal to snap-happy visitors: the 'Marktplatz', or marketsquare, with Karlsruhe's landmark, the Pyramid, preserved in the unmistakeable classicist style of its master builder Friedrich Weinbrenner, and the palace, today the home of the Badisches Landesmuseum. By the way, this palace plays a central role in Karlsruhe in a very literal sense: the city's founder, quite the absolutist prince, had 32 roads and avenues built radiating away from his residence in the shape of a fan, which is why Karlsruhe is also commonly referred to as the “Fächerstadt”, the fan-shaped city.

'Europahalle' and sport

'Europahalle', a venue for international track and field athletics events and many world championships, is a central feature of Baden's sports scene. Since its opening, this architecturally appealing sports arena has been a dazzling host to a multitude of top international sporting events in terms of facilities as well as organisation. It mastered its greatest challenge to date in 1989 as the venue for the World Games for non-Olympic disciplines. The 'Wildpark' stadium, set in the heart of the 'Hardtwald' forest since 1955, is the traditional home ground of the Karlsruhe football team, KSC. Industry, commerce, and research Karlsruhe enjoys a worldwide reputation in science and research. Young entrepreneurs work on their promising innovations in the so-called 'Technologiefabrik', or 'technology factory', a Baden Württemberg model used as a blueprint by other provinces in Germany. Approximately 30,000 students attend Karlsruhe's elite university and other institutes of higher learning. Numerous scientific institutions, first and foremost the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, are engaged in fundamental research and put the results into a usable form for tomorrow's industry and commerce. The amalgamation of Universität Karlsruhe and Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe will provide new impetus. Both institutions have set themselves the goal of rising to the peak of international research as the 'Karlsruhe Institute of Technology' (KIT).

Source: Karlsruhe Press and Information Office
Images: Bildstelle Stadt Karlsruhe